Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Market research firms may not count it as a PC, but the iPad is clearly a computer, and Apple’s latest sales figures show that it’s now got about 7% of what used to be the global “PC” market.So what are all those people doing with it, other than sending email and surfing the Web?
According to Apple’s list of top free and paid iPad apps, which the company released this morning via iTunes, people are using their iPad to have fun and get information from the Internet.
Popular uses include listening to and identifying music (Pandora and Soundhound), finding things to do nearby (Yelp, Flixster, Fandango), playing casual games, and reading electronic books. (Full list at the end of this post.)
They’re not creating documents and spreadsheets. They’re not playing fast-action twitch games that require tons of processing power (a dying market — a lot of hardcore gamers have already switched to consoles like the Xbox 360 and PS3). They’re not creating videos or recording songs.
In the past, these people might have paid $800 or more for a simple laptop that let them send and receive email, get information from the Web, and maybe download and play a few casual games. They don’t need a full computer, but they still had to think about all the hassles of owning a computer, like antivirus software and OS updates.
The $499 iPad is rapidly taking this casual computing market. And when the next version comes out at perhaps half the price or less, the switch from computers will accelerate.
How big is this casual computing market? Apple — and Microsoft — are about to find out.
Here’s Apple’s list of top free iPad apps of all time:
- Pandora (music streaming)
- Google Mobile (voice search)
- Movies By Flixster (movie information)
- Google Earth (3D mapping)
- Yelp (online reviews)
- Fandango Movies (movie information)
- Remote (control Apple TV or iTunes on another computer)
- iBooks (e-reader)
- Bible (reading)
- Solitaire (game)
And here are the top paid iPad apps:
- SoundHound (music identification)
- StickWars (game)
- FlightTrack (flight information)
- Backbreaker Football (game)
- Calorie Tracker (diet aid)
- Blocks Classic (game)
- iFart Mobile (seriously?)
- GoodReader for iPad (e-reader for PDF files)
- CroMag Rally (game)
- Ambiance (background noise)
A lot of iPad users may be downloading apps that were originally designed for the iPhone, but the common areas of interest are about the same.
Top all-time downloaded free iPhone apps:
- Google Mobile
- Shazam (music identification)
- Movies by Flixster
- The Weather Channel
- Google Earth
- Bump (share information by bumping phones)
- Skype (voice calls)
- Paper Toss (game)
Top all-time selling paid iPhone apps:
- Doodle Jump (game)
- Tap Tap Revenge 3 (game)
- Pocket God (game)
- Tap Tap Revenge 2.6 (game)
- Bejewled 2 + Blitz (game)
- Traffic Rush (game)
- Tap Tap Revenge Classic (game)
- AppBox Pro (alarm clock and other utilities)
- Flight Control (game)